Bulls Season Rewind 18-19: Antonio Blakeney
Antonio Blakeney worked his way onto an NBA roster the hard way. After going undrafted in 2017 following two seasons at LSU, Blakeney earned a two-way contract last season after an impressive showing in the 2017 Summer League. Playing most of last year for the Windy City Bulls in the G-League, Blakeney was named the G-League Rookie of the Year, Second Team All-NBA G League and a G League All-Star last season, scoring 32 points per game and finding his way with the big league team after a rash of injuries late in the season.
This performance earned him a guaranteed contract with the Bulls. Aside from two games with the Windy City Bulls, Blakeney spent the entirety of this season on the Bulls roster. He continued to show his knack for shooting the ball, hitting 40% of his three pointers, and he focused on bringing a scoring punch for the Bulls off the bench.
Here are some of Blakeney’s most impactful performances of the season:
November 2, Vs Pacers (Indiana 107, Bulls 105)
Blakeney Stat Line: 22 points (9-13 FG), 3-5 3PT, 3 rebounds
In what was undoubtedly Blakeney’s best game of the season, the shooting guard came off the bench and displayed what he does best: putting the ball in the basket. He scored a team-high 22 on an efficient 13 shots, and a lot of those were tough jumpers from all around the court. He almost helped the team pull out a big win over a strong opponent, completing an incredible 4-point play to tie the game at 105 in the waning seconds of the game. Timely buckets and clutch shooting; it was exactly what Bulls fans wanted to see out of Blakeney.
November 5, At Knicks (Bulls 116, Knicks 115 2OT)
Blakeney Stat Line: 17 points (6-13 FG), 2 steals, 1 rebound, 1 block
In this double-OT thriller, the Bulls outlasted the Knicks at Madison Square Garden behind a huge 41-point night from Zach LaVine. Blakeney helped get things started as he got hot, making two straight baskets to end the first quarter. In a game in which every point was important, the effort Blakeney put in off the bench and the scoring he brought to the table helped the Bulls take this road win.
October 31, Vs Nuggets (Denver 108, Bulls 107 OT)
Blakeney Stat Line: 15 points (5-9 FG), 4-4 3PT, 3 rebounds
In a tight game in which the Bulls ultimately lost on a final second putback from Paul Millsap, Blakeney provided a major scoring punch in limited minutes off the bench to help the Bulls go blow-for-blow with one of the West’s best teams. Blakeney in just 13 minutes hit all four of his three pointers en route to 15 quick points – each one of which was desperately needed.
This was part of a stretch in which Blakeney’s shooting was truly on fire – he shot more than 50% from the field in 8 straight games from October 20 to November 2, an impressive scoring run for a volume shooting guard.
Status Looking Ahead
Blakeney has one more guaranteed season left on his deal with the Bulls.